Anticipated for months, Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experimental have finally released their album SURF. Comprised of Chicago musicians Chance The Rapper, Nate Fox, Peter Cottontale, JP Floyd, Donnie Trumpet, and Greg Landfair the band successfully concentrates an array of influences into an amazing, feel good, timeless sound.
Originating back in 2013 with Chance The Rapper’s second mixtape Acid Rap, individuals in the band such as Peter Cottontale and Nate Fox produced the majority of the project and soon became his tour band, with the addition of the talented Donnie Trumpet called The Social Experiment. Gelling well as a band, the group embarked on an ambitious new album that has lived up to the expectations.
Collaborating with upcoming and established artists like Big Sean, J.Cole, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, D.R.A.M., Quavo of Migos, Jeremih, King Louie, BJ The Chicago Kid, Noname Gypsy, Saba, and Joey Purp, SURF creates an eclectic, warm, playful, gentle, and inspiring instrumentation that is relatable for all ages. A prominent influence that really standouts and gives them their signature sound, is the Chicago adaption of having a rich history in the Blues, Jazz, Soul, and Gospel music. The perfect blend of the four genres produces a nostalgic mood for the listener combined with a uplifting dance driven rhythms that gives a reminiscent feel of Stevie Wonder’s classic album Songs In The Key Of Life.
Truly a landmark album in the Hip Hop genre, SURF’s overall production is courageous, experimental, brilliant, universal, sentimental, and innovative that also touches base with various social topics. A rarity in today’s aggressive industry, The Social Experiment demonstrate what results when great musicians concentrate on the true vision and deliver a project solely about the music.
After multiple listens, SURF is undoubtedly a masterpiece. Whether Chance and The Social Experiment will continue to make more music together in the future is unknown, however the strength of theses 16 songs are so powerful it will maintain an honourable legacy for the group that will continue to inspire for decades to come.
Some of my favourite tracks from the album: Miracle, Warm Enough, Nothing Came To Me, Windows, Familiar, Go, Something Came To Me, Pass the Vibes. Want to share some your favourite tracks? Feel free to comment in the section below.
Derek Christoff AKA D-Sisive, the Canadian rapper hailing from Toronto, Ontario hits us with a collection of tracks under the title “I’ll Change Your Life If You Change Mine“. Best known for his Juno-nominated EP “The Book“, D-Sisive shows us an 11 track album featuring a few songs that have been previously released such as “Fat Cage”, “6 Inch God”, and “Violent J”, as well as a ton of new cuts that are sure to have any D-Sisive fan jumping for joy. It is also worth noting that the digital release seems to be sub-titled “aboyinaroom may“.
The digital release starts out with a creepy intro in the form of a skit titled “I Hope I’m Gonna Be Ok“, where the artist asks himself just that, then ends it off stating that “2015 is going to be quite a ride”, setting the listener up for the adventure ahead. The second track entitled “The Scientology Samba” starts off smooth, and with the production and vocals gaining ground, the energy builds up before giving way to a groove type feel. “Lil’ Bow Wow” sports D-Sisive ripping apart a boom bap beat, throwing out bar after bar. If you’re a fan of straight rhymes, this is going to be the track for you. “Violent J” holds a dark overtone in regards to the production, and the vocals themselves, which appear to be fit the title quite well. “6 Inch God“, a hilarious take on Drake’s “6 God”, has Derek flowing smoothly over an undeniably classic instrumental as one of the stand out tracks on the album. “Gabagool” & “The Furious Funkster” have D-Sisive delivering his signature style, before “Fat Cage” comes around with Derek killing a quirky instrumental that just sounds so right. The second to last cut “Basquiat Don’t Breakdance” has to be one of my favorite cuts on the album, with the track only being 1:09, D-Sisive flows all over the beat with this head bopping track. The closing song is titled “Peter’s Tits [Lesbian Haircut (Win Butler)], and is quite fitting to close out the album, with its gentle almost optimistic feel. D-Sisive is gearing up for 2015 being quite a ride.
For some info about what D-Sisive himself had to say about his new release, hit the jump.
Created with passion, vigor, and an altruistic approach, Oddisee delivers an eclectic new album The Good Fight. In a music genre that has become so accessible, disposable, and formulaic, the Mello Music Group MC evokes the listener to consider the artistry and message being expressed. A self proclaimed minimalist, musically Oddisee is reassuring his potential is reaching it’s maximum. With everything produced and performed independently, the album is able to use various influences of Jazz, Soul, Gospel, and Funk to be well integrated as if it was one continuous jam session. Though of course there are elements of hip hop trends and foundations, Oddisee puts his own interpretation on the genre to elevate the sound. The combination of live instrumentation, sampling, and layers of overdubs provide warm, appealing, and head nodding songs relatable to a broad range of music fans.
With the irresistible temptations that come along with new found fortunate and fame, it becomes increasingly easier for an artist to lose sight of their original vision and give in to the mainstream . His observations of the lack of dedication and loyalty to stay true to the cause, has Oddisee inspired to prove success can be achieved otherwise. His philosophical outlook as an artist has him involuntarily conveying the message of truly defending what you believe in, no matter the outcome. The personality traits of honesty, honour, and character reflects Oddisee’s maturity not only in the music but who he is as a person, which seems to provide a rare role model in todays industry.
Garnering underground success with a steady cult following, Oddisee continues to progress in the right direction and proves his philosophies are applicable even with the odds against you.
Some of my favourite tracks: That’s Love, First Choice, What They’ll Say, Counter Clockwise
Have your own favourite tracks? Feel free to comment in the section below.
If there was ever a categorization of the most underrated Toronto artists Spek Won is definitely on that list. Having quite the busy year touring around the world, the Rexdale MC finds the time to release his full length debut album Sofa King Amazing. With a highly eclectic sound, Spek Won assembles some of the most interesting Toronto producers (Clairmont the Second, Lordquest, Cola of WIFETAKERS, and Silent Jay) to help construct his musical concepts. The broad sound originates from Spek Won’s concept of dividing the album into two segments, Hawk Side and Fox Side. Marty McFligh is the alter ego during the Hawk Side segment. A sentimental perspective that reveals Marty going back to his roots and reflecting on how far he’s traveled. The lo-fi Jazz, acoustic, and Neo-Classical production seamlessly blends together as if it has been a popular genre for decades. The rain day, care free, and feel good flows compliment the instrumentals for tracks to really vibe out to and enjoy.
On the contrast, Fox Side has The modern approach still incorporates the same properties as Jazz and the Blues, but are replaced by dense synths and light airy high hats that develop into a electronic and atmospheric R&B hybrid. Fox Howard the alter ego on the Fox Side, has Spek Won evoking more of an aggressive, confident, and extroverted personality; A mechanism that may have been established to assist him while trying to survive in such a competitive industry. The two sides reveal an introspective viewpoint of Spek Won’s Past and Future; the nostalgic rise and the readiness for the upcoming obstacles.
Have your own thoughts own thoughts on what the two sides are really about? Feel free to comment in the section below.
The wait is over, easily one of the best artists to come out of Toronto has finally released his full-length debut mixtape Marauding In Paradise. Jazz Cartier is known for his musical versatility. He provides a sound that almost any avid music listener can relate too. From alternative electronic Toro Y Moi instrumentals and lush ambient ballads to high-energy club bangers, Jazz truly has a gift for blending the distinctive concepts to create a cohesive and fluid project. The overall production on the mixtape displays a perfected Toronto sound. Executive producer Lantz exercises his talent to create modern, diverse, and relevant instrumentals that elevate the potential of Jazz’s vision and creativity. The mixture of unique 808s, highly manipulated samples, and various electronic influences help craft a multi dimensional production, revealing a pleasing maturity to Jazz’s performance; a good example is the opening medley “Guardian Angel”. Most importantly, they’re chemistry encapsulated exactly what Hip Hop should be all about, which is music that gives the listener confidence, excitement, motivation, relation, and a voice.
Conceptually, this mixtape needs multiple attentive listens to fully comprehend. Jazz Cartier is not just rapping he’s full out preaching, particularly about fair warnings and his determined mindset take over the industry. Many references to religion, mythology, and a deteriorating relationship construct an odd combination of themes. However just like the sound, Jazz’s broad esoteric lyricism blends together like a well written narrative. Everything about Marauding In Paradise” is meticulously thought out, strategic, and it has a high replay value. Its truly quality at its finest. The release of this mixtape proves its now Toronto’s time and for the other aspiring rappers from the city this is the new standard.
Some of my Favourite tracks: Guardian Angel, The Valley, The Downtown Cliche, Forever Ready/Band On A Bible. Show your support to this incredible artist in the comment section below.
Download: Jazz Cartier – “Marauding In Paradise”